Dr. Chris Ford presented the potential impact of the BCPS budget cuts to alumni in a townhall meeting on March 21. Below are the potential “action items” that were distributed at the meeting.
How You Can Help
Keep the ‘A’ in BSA: There is currently a $130 million deficit for BCPS for 2017-18. If this deficit remains, BSA will lose $1.4 million in public funding and be forced to cut 75 of its 90 part-time arts teachers, reducing arts instruction to one hour a day. There would also be devastating cuts to every other public school in Baltimore City. Mayor Pugh and some state legislators have presented a $180 million, three-year proposal to help with the gap, but it provides less than half what would be needed to fully fund the deficit. The plan also has not yet been approved.
1) If you live in Baltimore: write Mayor Pugh, your City Council member, state legislator, and Gov. Hogan.
The Baltimore City community is deeply engaged in this issue, but continued public pressure is needed.
2) If you live in MD: Write your state legislator and Gov. Hogan. Write letters to the editor and opinion pieces for your local paper.
State legislators and Gov. Hogan desperately need to understand this is not just a “Baltimore issue.” When Baltimore is strong, Maryland is strong.
3) If your parents live in MD: Ask them to write the appropriate officials mentioned above, as well as their local paper.
4) Everybody — share positive BSA stories on social media.
Gov. Hogan called BCPS schools a “disaster.” Let’s show him the great people who have come out of BCPS! The hashtag for this campaign is #fixthegap. Twitter handles: @LarryHogan @MayorPugh50 @BaltCitySchools @BaltSchoolArts, as well as your local and state legislators. We will try to share as many public posts, videos, memes, etc as possible on the school’s official social media channels.
5) Everybody — use whatever influence you have for BSA.
A couple of alumni have written opinion pieces for various news outlets. Some have already been published; we’re waiting to hear about others. If you know any education reporters at national news outlets, consider engaging them on the topic. Encourage your friends to lend their voices to conversation.